Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year's Eve

My gal and I became engaged just seconds after midnight during the 2002-2003 New Years celebration, at a bar that has long since  closed.  She is the joy of my life and my best fried.

Several minutes ago, I asked her if she wanted to go out, and she demurred.  We are cocktail-ing early, she with her favorite wine, and I with my preferred bourbon.  Tomorrow, we are entertaining friends, with the usual black-eyed peas, cabbage, and corn bread.  We'll put the peas on to soak in another few minutes, and lock up. 

Happy New Year's y'all.  It looks like 2019 is going to be a lot of fun.  Y'all stay tuned.


We're in a government shutdown?  Who knew?

Evidently, it's already been on for a week.  And, I"m having trouble finding out how the shutdown will a affect most workaday Americans.

The new Congress takes over next week, ad the Democrats will have the majority.  President Trump is going to have to earn to deal with that.

It appears that the House passed a bill that Trump could sign, but Senate Democrats  threatened a filibuster.  There's the problem.  I'm a huge fan of the old-time filibuster, but nowadays, it's enough to simply threaten to filibuster to kill a bill.  If a Senator wants to filibuster, he should have that right, but he should be forced to stand-his-ass-up and actually talk nonstop for as long as he can. 

The way the Senate does filibusters these days is an ersatz, hollow, legislative trick.  It takes no courage, and it bears no risk.  It's a puny, watered down trick,   Schumer should retain the original  filibuster, but forbid the current version.  It's un-seemly, and it's certainly un-Senatorial.

But, to the original question:  We're in a shutdown?  Who knew?

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Muscadine Shine

Son-in-law Greg brought this over today, it's a moonshine (or what passes for moonshine these days) flavored with muscadine juice.  Greg's dad grows muscadines annd makes jelly.  Hew jelly is fabulous and I don't know that the connection is to this hooch, but I'm glad to get it and I'll be happy to sample it.

At only 55 proof, it shouldn't have much "kick", but I'm sure it will be fine when we start sampling whiskeys in the shop.

Thanks, Greg!


It's a rainy, cool Sunday ad we had that leftover turducken in the fridge that we were wither going to use or throw away.  It's the Christmas bird around here, and I hated to see it go to waste.

So, I found a couple of pounds of good sausage, sauteed some onions and bell peppers, and made a roux.  It's Turducken gumbo for this Sunday, and I made a bunch of it.  Gumbo can be made from almost anything, and it's usually either poultry or seafood.  In this case it's three kinds of poultry (turkey, duck and chicken), with good Cajun sausage.

The basic recipe is here.

In another hour, we'll make a pot of rice.

Saturday, December 29, 2018


So there's this viral video making the rounds of a transgender guy who goes full nutzoid because the folks in the game shop refer to him as "sir".  He insists that he's a "Ma'am", even though it it quite plain to everyone in view (and now the whole world) that he plainly has both and X and a Y chromosome. 

The employee in the shop deserves full kudos for trying to de-escalate what is clearly a volatile situation.   I'll embed the video below, but I'll also tell you that there is some foul language from the confused transgender guy.

This entire episode is the logical outcome of political correctness run amok.  There is no reason why the mainstream workaday world should be expected to recognize a person's fantasy world.  Frankly, it's assuming a bit much to think that the entire society should comply with his insistence that he is a woman.  He is not entitled to anything, we don't owe him  anything, and he unreasonably assumes that the world should comply with his fantasy.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Finding Cast Iron In The Wild

Belle and I are entertaining out-of-state visitors, ad we took them crawling through a flea market today.  One thing I was looking for is cast iron and I found a dealer who had some very interesting pieces, but he knew what he had ad wanted full retail.

One of the things I was looking for was a nice, small #5 skillet to make a small pone of cornbread.  I saw w modern Lodge on the shelf and asked him about it.

"That's a modern Lodge," he said, "Give me $5 and it's yours."

Don't turn your nose up at Lodge cookware.  It's still being made today, ad many folks don't consider it collectible, but it's till fine cookware.

I handed him a five-spot ad tucked it under my arm.  Got it home, cleaned it and re-oiled it.

There is nothing wrong with that little skillet ad I bet that it will serve us well for cooking eggs, and making the smaller size pones of cornbread.  Yes, it's a modern Lodge, but I bet that it is older than some of my grandkids and might be as old as some of my children.

I don't know what the current makers-mark of Lodge is, but I'll bet that this thing was made before they started putting pre-seasoning on the cookware.  It'll do just fine for what we want to do.

UPDATE.  Just a little searching tells me that this logo came into use in 1973,

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Devil's Cut

Everyone who has ever studied the distillation  and maturation process knows about the Angel's Share.  After caasking, a certain percentage of the whiskey is lot to evaporation,  In the distilled spirits business, it's simply a cost of doing business.

Some of the whiskey is lost to the wood barrel, ad Jim Bean calls this the Devil's Cut.  They've figured out a way to release some of that whiskey from the barrel, and they mix it with with their whiskey and release it in a product called Devil's Cut.  I've tried it in the past ad like it.   Because all bourbon is made from corn, ad aged in new, charred oak casks, that spirit in the wood has an intense flavor.  For me, I get leather, oak, and honey.  But, that's just me.  Whiskey tasting notes are very subjective and my palate may be missing something.

At any rate, I like Devil's Cut, and was privileged  to receive a bottle for Christmas.  What I did not know was the Jim Beam bottles Devil's Cut int he big, transmission shaped bottles.

I'm going to enjoy this one a bunch.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Chhristmas

Belle ad I started a tradition years ago..  We do a big Christmas Eve cooking, with all the trimmings and feed all comers for a huge meal on Christmas Eve.  Yesterday we  counted heads after we blessed the meal, but a few more dropped by afterwards.  I figure we fed in the neighborhood of 25 people yesterday.

The gals decided that we should take pictures, and dragged us outside for the photos.  It was a beautiful day in these latitudes, so outdoor pictures seemed just right.

Everyone went home about 8:00 a so Belle ad I did some quick straightening, put the leftovers away, and fell into bed, exhausted..  Today, Belle ad I will indulge our personal Christmas tradition.  She has yeast rolls rising and in another hour or so I'll go out to the shop and find the leftover ham.  We'll stay in our slippers all day eat ham sliders for lunch.

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Just a Friendly Reminder

Semiautomatic firearms are based o technology from at least 1903.
 The Democrat Party is in open warfare against semiautomatic firearms even though the technology behind such weapons dates back to at least 1903.
I bet they've never heard the name John Moses Browning.  Very prolific firearms designer.  He dragged us kicking ad screaming into the 20th century.  Many of his designs are still being produced today.

The guy the Democrats really hate is Eugene Stoner, who finalized his design in 1955.   Yeah the basic design of he Armalite rifle was finalized 63 years ago.  It isn't anything new either.  It is probably the most common rifle in use in the US today.

The big news this week is that the Democrats are absolutely opposed to walls.  Also ancient technology that predates the semiautomatic firearm by several millennia.

I'm beginning to think that Democrats are simply at war wit reality.

Sunday, December 23, 2018


We're i full Christmas mode around here.  Joyeaux Noel.    We're prepping and makig it happen.  PawPaw and Belle are in fine form, ad getting ready for the family gathering tomorrow evening.

We've been  mildly busy all day and have called a cessation for Happy Hour.  We'll pick it back up in the morning.  Belle has to go to work or a coupe of hours tomorrow, but PawPaw will be here doing final prep and getting completely in the mood.

Merry Christmas, y'all.  Expect posting to be lighter than usual the next couple of days.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

The McConnell Shutdown

I see this morning that our wishy-washy Senate Majority Leader can't seem to use the majority that the people gave him.  Mitch refuses to use the nuclear option to get things done.
"It’s been clear that from the beginning that two things are necessary: The support from enough Senate Democrats to pass the proposal at 60, and a presidential signature," he said. “As a result, the Senate has voted to proceed to the legislation before us in order to preserve maximum flexibility for productive conversations to continue between the White House and our Democratic colleagues."
Mitch, you don't have any Democratic colleagues.  They hate you, ad they generally hate President Trump.  They want you to fail.  And, so far, you've played into their hands.
 "I hope Senate Democrats will work with the White House on an agreement that can pass both houses of Congress and receive the president’s signature," McConnell added. "So, colleagues, when an agreement is reached, it will receive a vote here on the Senate floor.”
You hope?  Hope is not a plan, Mitch.  Hope lets the Democrats win.

So, Mitch, if you want this shutdown, you have it.  It's all on you.  It's up to you to make the Democrats see the error of their ways.    Ol' Harry Reid knew how to make the opposition howl.  Maybe you should have taken some lessons from him. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Speaking Of That

Referencing my post below.  When I was in Natchitoches, LA, there was a little fire station that looked remarkably like the one in the photo below (there must have been a standard drawing for small firehouses).  It sat behind a student nightclub, on a side street behind the nightclub.

Folks would try to park in front of the fire house while they partied at the nightclub,, in spite of the large sign the firemen put on the roll-up doors.  DO NOT PARK HERE.  Occasionally, when they got a call during the night, they would roll up the door and find a car parked in the way.    They would simply put the front bumper of that big American LaFrance  against the offending vehicle and push it out of the way, normally into the ditch across the street.

Normally, the police department would get a call. "Somebody pushed my car into the ditch."

The response was simple.  "Too Bad, So Sad.  Can we call you a wrecker?"


I'm not sure what happened here, but it looks like  something went dreadfully wrong.

But, on the other hand, I"m home safe and off for two weeks for the Christmas break.  Belle and I are about to declare happy hour.  Y'all have a great evening.

In Praise Of The Lowly .22

I was surfing around YouTube last night and came upon this video.  One small segment on the evolution of ammunition reminded me about the ubiquitous .22 LR cartridge, how old it is and how archaic the construction, yet how widely accepted and beloved it is by American gunners.

Designed by the J. Stevens Arms and Tool Co. in 1887, by my math, it has been continuously in production for 131 years.  It's a rather archaic cartridge, having both a heeled bullet and rimfire ignition.  Estimates of annual production are hard to come by, but most folks agree that US production is more than a billion rounds per year.

Everyone has, (or should have), one good .22.  It's invaluable for training, it's a magnificent small game cartridge, and it's actually a lot better at some things than many people give it credit for being.  It has been used by militaries worldwide.

If you are not familiar with the .22 cartridge, your education has been sorely neglected. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Trip Around The Sun

Well, I've done it again.  Made another trip around the sun.  This one makes 65.

Soon as I catch my breath, we'll see what happens next.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Ten Best

I'm drinking whiskey tonight, for reasons that will become apparent tomorrow morning.

Of course my go-to whiskey is bourbon, because I'm an American and was stationed in Kentucky, when I was a young officer.  Kentucky is a huge bourbon producing state, and I learned to love it there.

Today I bought a bottle of 1792, knowing nothing about it.  It's a $25.00 bourbon locally, but I came home and researched it and the Whiskey Channel on YoutTube says that it's on their top ten list of go-to bourbons.  Evidently, it's produced by the Barton distillery, which is in Bardstown, KY, which is is just down the road from Fort Knox.

Y'all have a grand evening.  Belle is making pumpkin bread and peanut brittle, and I'm getting ust a bit unwrapped.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Funny, You Should Ask

Bob F asked in comments:
What, no cornbread fingers pan? :-)
Yeah, I have some of those, although I never could make cornbread in them.  Momma had one she used for cornbread, but I never had much luck.

However, my cornbread stick pans are used for a noble purpose.  Lead.  Specifically, ingots for bullet casting.  My cornbread mold is dedicated to wheelweight  ingots.  I have a square ingot mold that is dedicated to pure lead, and I have a round, breadstick pan that it dedicated to linotype allow for very hard bullets.  I wrote a blog post about it in 2010.

So, yeah, I have a cornbread thingy, but it will be used in the kitchen.  It lives out near the smelter.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Old Cast Iron

I've been looking at cast iron cookware sites recently, ad a couple of nights ago decided to look at our personal collection, which is mainly a using collection of Lodge cookware. There is nothing wrong with Lodge cookware once you get past their current practice of pre-seasoning their cookware, which feels about like a truck bed liner.  Some of their earlier stuff is very slick indeed, and Belle had some pieces hanging int he rack which were crusty, from decades of cooking and baking.  With her permission, I decided to clean them using the oven cleaning method.

Using the oven cleaning method, you basically put the pieces into your oven and set it on the automatic cleaning cycle.  When it cools the cookware is clean, with all the crusty bits reduced to ash.  Wash it thoroughly and re-season it, ad it looks as good as new.  I did that, and sure enough, it worked fine.  I put them in the oven last night, and when I came home from work today, I washed them, and did one re-seasoning.

L-R.  Lodge #4, Birmingham Stove ad Rage #3, and Birmingham #5.
All the crusty bits are gone, and the lettering is now readable on each piece.  That little #3 in the middle is a post-'68 BSR, since it's marked "MADE IN USA", ad the #5 on the right is a pre-68.

Same skillets L-R.  The Lodge on the left and the BSR on the right are  smooth as glass and are Belle-s go-to cornbread pans whenever she wants to make a small pone.    I'll give them a another seasoning tomorrow when I get in from work.  I've heard that flaxseed oil is very good for seasoning cast iron, and I picked up a small bottle today just for this purpose. 

I've cooked on cast iron my whole life, it's generally my go-to cookware for frying, roasting or baking, but I've never taken the time to research it.  I have cast iron from small to large, and use it just like any other tool.  I won't go out of my way to get an old Griswold or Wagner, but I don't turn them down either.  It's just that my current collection is either Lodge or Birmingham Stove and Range (BSR), and I've never felt the need for anything  else.

I do have a nice Stargazer skillet on order, though.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Tree Is Up

Belle ad I decided to put the tree up in the barn this Christmas, since that's where the festivities will commence.  She had the grandsons get it out of the attic today, and superintended the installation.

That tree took up half the living room.  It looks a whole lot smaller in the shop.  But, after Christmas, it will go into storage in the shop.  It's never going back in the house.

Saturday, December 15, 2018


This morning we did some re-arranging in the house, this afternoon I went to Lowe's to get some lumber for a project in the shop.  Shelving.  I wanted something narrow,  about six inches.  I don't like a deep shelf because things can get hidden toward the back.    Belle and I agreed on some nice, wrought-iron brackets that we found at Hobby Lobby.

I went with the plastic/composite deck boards at Lowe's.  The color is pleasing enough that I wouldn't need to paint them, and the color contrasts well with the color Belle painted the walls.

After I got the materials together, Zach and I put them up in just about an hour.

Saturday afternoon is done, and I've been doing home improvement all day.  I suspect that Happy Hour is just around the corner.

Major Re-Arranging

For years we've had a room called "the toy room".  The grandkids are getting older and as they got more years on them, the "toy room" went through some upgrades.

Belle decided that it was time to disassemble the toy room and make it into a proper guest room  Of course, every piece of furniture in two rooms had to me moved three times.  I'm amazed at the amount of debris ad  clutter that we found under each piece of furniture that we moved.  It's incredible.

I'm catching my breath, but I believe that we've turned the corner on this re-design.   Belle and Zach are still puttering around in the back of the house, but I think I"m going to sneak out on the patio and get a bit of fresh air.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Hush Money Payments

President Trump's erstwhile lawyer is now a convicted felon for various and sundry reasons, and he says that President Trump knew that hush money payments were wrong.
Cohen: 'Of course' Trump knew hush money payments were wrong
We can all agree that hush money payments are wrong.  In a moral sense, we shouldn't be doing things that require hush money.  But, there are lots of things that are wrong, without necessarily being illegal.  To wit:

Drinking good Scotch with Pepsi is wrong, but it's not illegal.
Having an adulterous affair is wrong, but it's not illegal.
Prying a nail out of a wall with a pen knife is wrong, but it's not illegal.

Cohen should know the difference.  But, as it turns out, he's just another sleazebag lawyer.  And, you know that it's the sleazebag lawyers who give the other five percent a bad name.  The vast majority of people couldn't care less whether Trump paid off a couple of whores.  The vast majority of  sources I've seen says that what Trump may or may not have done is not illegal.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Oh, the IRONy

I'm reading about some clueless Democratic Socialists who decided to get sweet matching tattoos.

I wonder if they know that symbol is associated with decades of  genocide, oppression, and tyranny?

During the early part of my military career, I was taught to get bearing and range data whenever I saw that symbol.  Now, I'm just LOLing at the cluelessness.  But, they've finally come out and identified themselves as the enemy of a free people.  Perhaps they they should be treated as such.

Historical Photo

A cool photo from 1965.

A U.S. Marine sniper seeks out Viet Cong with a high-powered rifle and scope near Que Son, Vietnam, Dec. 13, 1965. (AP Photo)
That rifle looks to be a Winchester Model 70.  I seem to recall that's what the Marines were using at the time.  During Desert Storm, my snipers used a mix of Winchester 70s and Remington 700s.  But, our rifles had been worked by the Marksmanship Unit at Benning and were very, very nice.

Sniping, like nearly every facet of military life has changed drastically since then.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Cashew Brittle

Belle has been making brittle recently.  Tonight, she experimented with cashew brittle.  OhmyGod.

I actually think that I like peanut brittle better than the cashew  candy. But, we'd never know if we never tried it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Great American Ponzi Scheme

With the 65th anniversary of my birth approaching rapidly, Belle has been nudging me to get down to to the Social Security office and make sure that I am  covered.

It seems that there is this socialized medical plan that everyone has to apply for before age 65, and if you don't apply for it, there are penalties.  So, following the advice and gentle nudging from my lady, I went down today and visited the nice folks at the Social Security Administration.  It irks me as a small-l libertarian to sign up for any government program.  I earned my military retirement, and take great pride in it, but being told that I have to apply for government insurance simply irks the hell out of me.

Because of my date of birth, I also qualify for a high percentage of my full-retired SSA payment benefits, and because Medicare Part B costs money, I went ahead and signed up for that too.  They consider the piddling retirement check that I get from the State of Louisiana as a "windfall", which further reduces the mail-box money the SSA is going to send me.  (Which I also earned through lifetime of work), so how is that a "windfall"?  It sounds to me like I'm being penalized for working hard all my life and taking advantage of retirement plans that come my way.

The nice guy at SSA also told me that I could make up to $40K per year without affecting my SSA retirement check.  Really?  If I get lucky, continue to work hard, and make a decent living, that's going to cut into my mailbox money?  That doesn't sound fair.  Although it explains all those folks I know who are past 65, are self-employed, and work for cash.

At any rate, when I launched myself some 45 years ago, I never thought that I'd actually be signing up for Social Security.  I figured with dual careers in the military and law enforcement, I'd either die gloriously on a battlefield, or ignominiously in a dark alley.  But, I made it this far, against all my expectations.  I'm going to enjoy Christmas, catch my breath and start plotting my next great adventure.  I can't talk about it just yet, but it's going to be a doozy.  I promise y'all.

Go Navy!

They're getting a new boat. (or ship, or whatever they call thse things).

SAN DIEGO (Dec. 7, 2018) The Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) arrives in its homeport of San Diego. The future USS Michael Monsoor is the second ship in the Zumwalt-class of guided- missile destroyers and will undergo a combat availability and test period. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned into the U.S. Navy Jan 26, 2019 in Coronado, Cailf. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Nicholas Huynh)
So, the Navy is getting a new guided missile destroyer.  Disclaimer:  I know absolutely NOTHING about current naval design.

Guided missiles are fine, but I don't see any guns.  I'd figure that they might want a few bullet-launchers for close-in defense.  Again, I'm no sailor-man, but I've heard that the "Prepare To Repel Boarders" crap is dangerous.

It sure looks angular, doesn't it?  I wonder what the radar return on that thing is like.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Pineville Liquor Elections

I was busy cooking yesterday and didn't even look at the computer till long after dark, but we had an important election on Saturday, the much anticipated wet/dry election for the City of Pineville, LA.

I live in and serve the people of Rapides Parish, LA.  Central to the state, Rapides parish is dominated by two cities, Alexandria and Pineville.  Alexandria is the larger of the two, and they are separated by  the Red river.  As long as I can recall, Alexandria has been wide-open wet and Pineville has been bone dry.  It worked for many people, most especially the temperance movements of the local churches.  I'm Southern Baptist, and I understand the dynamics of church membership.

Alexandria was wet, and Pineville was dry, and that's the way it's been in my lifetime.  If you lived on the Pineville side of the river, and wanted a drink, you crossed over into Alexandria. Several times in my memory, there were movements to bring the north side of the river out of Prohibition, but they all failed, either because it was political suicide to even bring up such a thing,

But, demographics change, and people move around, and recently some of the merchants thought that maybe it was time to bring Pineville to the wet side, so some of those merchants started a petition drive and succeeded in getting enough signatures that the law forced a local option election.  We voted on that Saturday.  There were five (5) options on the ballot, as required by law.  The options were worded kind of strangely, but we all figured out what they meant, and the voting was fairly overwhelming.  On Friday, Pineville was dry.  On Sunday, Pineville became wet.  Very wet.  The results are graphed below.

It would appear that The People want liquor in Pineville.  They voted for both low alcohol, high alcohol, package sales, liquor by the drink, and restaurant sales.  This election applies only to the city of Pineville, and the rural areas in the north side of the parish remain dry, but I won't have to drive nearly as far to buy a bottle of hooch.    It will be interesting as well, to see how the tax revenue moves around.  I suspect that I won't be the only person who no longer crosses the river to buy beer, wine, or whiskey. 

The People have spoken.  Let freedom ring.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

White Bean Chili

With the weather predictions dire, we decided to cook white bean chili for lunch on Sunday.    On Saturday afternoon, we went out to the shop, put two pounds of Great Northern Beans in the slow cooker and covered them with chicken broth.  Then we set the pot to LOW, and went back int he house for happy hour  This morning we went back out to the shop, added a (very) little liquid, and then Belle began the transformation from beans to White Bean Chili.  I'll let her tell you about it.

Oh, damn, it was good, either with cornbread, or with crackers (I had a bowl of each.  We cook lunch for the family every Sunday and there was enough left that I might get to take a bowl to work this week.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Peanut Brittle

Belle's making peanut brittle.  Just because she wants to.  And, because grandson Lucas said he's never never had a piece of peanut brittle.

She's making pecan brittle, too.  And, I was wondering how cashew brittle would be, and her eyebrows raised.  Stand by for cashew brittle.

This looks like something I should make a You Tube video of.

Saturday Piddling

We woke this morning to one hellacios rainfall, but since I happen to have an indoor range, that didn't affect the shooting at all.  This is exactly why I built the shop.  I may not be able to control the weather, but I can be climate-controlled.

The shooters showed up about 10:00 and we began shooting, the last session of this calendar year. 

Seven shooters this morning and we shot until folks started drifting away, about noon.

After the shooting was over, I started to get a bit peckish, and decided to cook.  I had a can of bacon-flavored Spam in the pantry and decided to give it a go with some eggs-to-order and toast.  One of the club members snapped a photo o me standing over the griddle, taking egg orders.

That bacon-flavored Spam wasn't half bad, and since it does't require refrigeration, I'll pick up another couple of cans when I go to the grocers later today.

We're planning to do some big cooking tomorrow.  Belle wants a big gumbo for an office party on Monday, and we'll cook it tomorrow afternoon.  As for myself, I've been jonesing for a white bean chili, and we're going to put that on tonight for lunch tomorrow.

Friday, December 07, 2018


Good cookware is an investment.  Not only an investment in cash, but an investment in the generations that will follow.  We can;'t take it with us, and those who follow on get to use it.    Stories abound about heirloom cast iron, like this anonymous commenter.
I inherited it after her death. We were allowed to pick out two items for memories, and I was lucky to pick the Wagner an the stove top Dutch oven she used. My Aunts get misty eyed when they come to our house and eat and see those still in action.
My cast iron has served my family well, and continues to serve.   I know that when I finally keel over, the first things they're going to divvy up are the guns, and the cast iron.  That's okay, that's why I have it.

But, I'm always on the lookout for good paces, and I admit that I'm smitten with this one.  At roughly $120,  I could buy a half-dozen Lodges, but I think I want one anyway.

The link to the Stargazer website is here.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Lodge Cast Iron

I own a lot of Lodge cast iron and cook with it almost every day.  The only gripe I have with Lodge is that damnable pre-seasoning they put on stuff these days.  It's rough, like truck bed liner ad you don't want that on your iron.  You want it smooth as a baby's butt.  But, the pre-seasoning is easily defeated with a sander.  Get it smooth, re-season it, then cook with it.

The best thing about Lodge is that it is available darned near everywhere.  It is probably the most available cast iron cookware in America.  And, it's made in the USA.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018


J. Christian Adams, over at PJMedia examines the federally mandated drinking age and  argues that it should be lowered to age 18.  He has a good discussion of the issue, and I agree that it deserves a second look.

I have long held that we should have one age of majority.  If, at some point, the state decides that a person is competent to enter into contracts, buy and sell property, enter into marriage, obtain the right to vote, and serve our military, then that person should also have the right to walk into a bar and buy a beer.  It's a simple concept.  Either you're an adult or you're not.

Other arguments can be made that the states are more properly the custodian of the question, that it is simply not the province of the federal government to decide such issues.

Interestingly, one of our local municipalities is this weekend,  deciding a local ballot measure that would change the city from basically dry to basically wet.  There are five options on the ballot that voters will address, basically from a strict prohibition, through low-alcohol package sales to high-alcohol package sales, to drinking in restaurants, to wide-open bars.  Historically, this town has been "dry", but enough citizens got together a petition that the city was required to put it on a ballot.

These are interesting questions, indeed.  Let freedom ring.

If It's A Problem

If it's a problem, act like it's a problem.    Various sources are reporting that Bernie Sanders, the aged socialist from Vermont, and climate hawk, spent $300K on private air travel in October.

So, Bernie, if my carbon footprint is a problem, then your carbon footprint is a problem, too.

I'll start to consider climate change a problem, when you start acting like it's a problem.  Until then, you should just shut-the-hell up about it.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018


Intersectionality, whatever the hell that is.  Evidently, it's a scale of how privileged you may or may not be.  With "social justice" being what it is, I figured I'd do poorly.  After all, I am a fairly well educated white male who supports himself and pays a butt-load of taxes.

The test did not disappoint.  Evidently I am more privileged than 90% of all the other critters in this country.

Heh!  You can take the test here if you'd like.  Linky to the test.  Do I feel poorly about having such a low score?  No, not at all.  We can't do anything about race or sex, but if you get educated, work hard, pay taxes and have good income your score will drop.  It's all utter bullshit, anyway,

Lessons Learned

Eaton Rapids Joe talked about it yesterday.  In 1986, eight FBI agents got involved in a shootout with two very bad actors, and changed the way police look at firearms, tactics, ammunition, and equipment.  The aftershocks of that fight were seminal to how law enforcement looks at fatal encounters.

At the time I was a young peace officer and I remember reading the reports, following the FBI testing and trying to digest the data that came out for several years There were some interesting things that came out of that event and the subsequent reassessment.

The 10mm cartridge.  The 10mm is a direct result of the FBI testing that followed the shootout.  The problem is that most people can't handle it, it's a high energy cartridge designed for semi-auto handguns and is more demanding than the vast majority of folks find it uncomfortable.  That, and it beat the early guns to death.  Handguns designed for it seem to do okay, but it is tough on handguns.  Interestingly, the .40 SW cartridge is the little sister of the 10mm.  Many cops carry a .40 SW today, and we never heard of it before the shootout.

Better bullets.  The FBI tested a lot of bullets in the aftermath, and the bullet manufacturers paid attention.  There were some startling things learned, and for a while, it seemed that everyone was testing bullets.  We started learning about things like tissue displacement, penetration, wound cavities and how bullets acted when shot through various mediums.  The result of all that testing and evaluation is that we have a better understanding of terminal ballistics and we have much better bullets, across the board, than we had in 1986.

We also learned that the old things work.  The fight, with all its savagery and horror was ended by a determined FBI agent shooting a revolver.  Probably using the FBI standard load, which was a .38 Special +P load.  Sometimes good enough is good enough.

It's been over 30 years since that fateful day in Miami, and lots of things have changed in police work and in the gun community in general since that time.  A lot of it came out of  that day in April 1986.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Those Poor Migrants

The American Thinker has a piece about how the migrants in the caravan have been duped by their organizers.
News accounts said that the organizers were promising the migrants easy entry to San Diego, and the Sunday Tijuana border charge came when the migrants felt frustrated.  With that a failure, too, that's got to be rather bitter for some, a question we raised the other day, wondering why the migrants didn't turn on the caravan organizers after what they did.  Migrants can see that they've been dumped to their fate, and the caravan is now breaking up, with many going back home (with Mexico offering free bus rides) or taking the well paid jobs Tijuana is offering them.  But the organizers' promises continue to stand as fake, because anything too good to be true always is.
It's a shame that people were duped, taken advantage of, but often times that is the way these things happen.  It looks like the organizers have skipped town, now that Tijuana's mayor is calling for their arrest.  This thing has become an abject and utter failure, much like what most left-wing projects eventually become.  And, of course, the people who needed it worst are the ones left in the lurch.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Beef Stew

Sometimes nothing will do but an old-fashioned beef stew.  We cheat and do it easy.

Beef Stew

3 lbs good stew meat
brown gravy mix
bag of "baby" carrots
5 lbs potatoes.  Choose your favorite.

The night before.  Drop that stew meat into a large slow cooker.  Mix up enough brown gravy mix to half fill the pot.  Dump inn the carrots.  Turn the pot on LOW, and go to bed.

When you wake  up, after coffee, peel those potatoes and cut them into bite-sized pieces.  Add them to the slow cooker.  Let it simmer till lunch time.  Make a pot of rice.

That's how we rolled today, with  yeast rolls and soft drinks.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Broiled Oysters

Once a year or so, m buddy Termite brings me oysters from the Gulf.  This is Saturday and these were laying on the bottom of the Gulf on Thursday.    Fresh oysters.  The only way to eat seafood.

Belle decided to broil them with garlic butter and top them with cheese.  Served on saltine crackers.  Rather than give you a recipe, I decided to go with a video.

Son Barrett just happened to stop by and was able to share in the treat.  We made about our bathches and wound up eating that whole quart of oysters.

Thanks, Termite.

The Caravan Route

I've seen this meme on the Book of Face, and find it interesting. 

It makes you wonder why they took the long route to California, doesn't it?  Could it have something to do with California's liberal sanctuary policy?

RIP George HW Bush

I learned this morning that my wartime President has passed away.  I was trying to think how many presidents I served during my military career, and I believe that it's five.  Ford, Carter, Reagan, GW Bush, and Clinton.    President GW Bush was the one that called me to active duty in 1990 for Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

That operation was some of the best times I ever had in the military.  It was adventure from start to finish, and frankly, I had a ball.  Those were good times.  We knew who the enemy was and we had clear objectives.  Soldiering was great during that operation.

We've pretty much been fighting in those same God-forsaken deserts ever since. 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Mueller Strikes Again

Special counsel Mueller, on his witch hunt, has added another scalp to his war belt.  Once again another Republican, this one a counsel for President Trump.  Evidently, Michael Cohen has pled guilty for lying to Congress.

Huh!  It's against the law to lie to Congress?  Who knew?
When is the law going to catch up with serial prevaricators like John Brennan, James Clapper, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, and James Comey -- all of whom have been caught in lies to Congress or the FBI with no repercussions?
If it is indeed against the law to lie to Congress, then that law should be applied in a non-partisan fashion across the board.   Selective application of the law is seldom seen as fair.

Cleaning Cast Iron

Evidently, there is a resurgence of cast iron cooking going on.  People looking for the old ways, and  using the old tools.  That's taken me by surprise because cast iron is my go-to cooking implement and has been for my entire life.  Between Belle and I, we probably have two dozen or more pieces, from small skillets to large dutch ovens. 

But, there is a fellow on the intertubes who is putting out good information.  Kent Rollins out of southwest Oklahoma is a cowboy cook, and he has the experience to talk with some level of e expertise.

I may not necessarily agree with everything he has to say, but I tip my hat to his knowledge.  I've enjoyed watching many of his videos and he might inspire me to make some short cooking videos of my own.  Kent specializes in cowboy cooking, and there is a whole wealth of Cajun cooking that fits right in with cast iron, We've been cooking with cast iron for decades, and there are some really easy one-pot meals that are staples of Cajun cookery.

If yo like Kent's stuff (and I do), flip on over to his channel.  One fo the things Kent turned me on to was Field cast iron, a fairly new US manufacturer.  Evidently, the Field stuff is made like the old Griswold or Wagner cookware.  After Christmas, I may be tempted to buy one of their #10 skillets.  It's kind of pricey, but good cast iron is a generational investment.

We'll see.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

A Moment of Truth

Another great veteran's ad.

The tattoo on the older veteran's arm is the symbol of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, one of the most storied regiments in the US Army.

Are Civil Forfeitures Over

It seems that there is a case pending in the Supreme Court that may spell and end to civil forfeiture under the 8th Amendment.  According to Hit Air and other sources, the  Solicitor General of Indiana took a rhetorical beating yesterday over the practice. 

I've often wondered about "civil" forfeiture, because they always seem to be the result of a criminal action.  And, it seems that the 8th Amendment prohibits  excessive fines.  I admit that I have never been cognizant of the 8th Amendment, but it seems that it is going to play a big part in the arguments.

This is liable to be interesting.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Empty Chair

Yeah, it's an oldy, but a goody.

In lieu of actual content, we may as well get a little teary.

Cold Cases - Another Serial Killer Emerges

WASHINGTON -- The FBI said today that a 78-year-old man currently imprisoned in Texas has confessed to committing 90 murders across the country from 1970 to 2005.
FBI analysts are working with federal, state and local agencies -- including the Texas Rangers -- to try to match Samuel Little's confessions to cold cases.
This guy was a transient, criss-crossing the country.  Apparently, he has a lengthy criminal record and they're trying to put together dates and cities and DNA evidence, but he's confessed to 90 murders.

These guys normally do a lot of damage before they are stopped, and this fellow might surpass the Green River killer, who previously held the record.

Speaking of That

Actually, a buddy and I were talking about this over breakfast.
A couple of these surprised me:
Hyde-Smith is one of six Republican Senators who used to be Democrats. Others will be Kennedy (LA), Cassidy (LA), Hoeven (ND), Braun (IN), & Shelby (AL). #MSSen
— J. Miles Coleman (@JMilesColeman) November 28, 2018
When I registered to vote in 1971 there were hardly no Republicans in Louisiana.  The Democrats had a stranglehold on the state, but there were plenty of conservatives.  We called ourselves Southern Democrats. In the '80s and '90s, the Democratic Party started bending so far left that it veered away from what many Southern Democrats saw as the proper role of a political party andn changed affiliations.  Both of Louisiana's Senators, Kennedy and Cassidy were once Democrats, and I remember those days. 

The band Alabama even wrote a bout it in their hit, Song of the South.
Daddy was a veteran, a southern democrat
They oughta get a rich man to vote like that
The stranglehold of the Democrats was so strong for a while that when I registered to vote, the check-block for the party was pre-printed as Democrat.  That was the default affiliation.  If you wanted to register with another party, you had to make an active choice.  Otherwise, you were a Democrat.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Insty Suspends Twitter

If you're surfing around, you'll probably notice some stories about Twitter, the social media giant so beloved of our President, who has taken it on itself to block conservative writers.  Instapundit noticed and deleted his account.  Even Politico has noticed.

Twitter has been around since 2006, and was adopted by lots of folks.  It grew over the years and became huge in the political sphere.  Like many of the tech giants, it employs folks who tend to the liberal side of the argument, and over the past year or so, folks have noticed that it tends to trend liberal.  But recently, it started giving conservatives problems.

If Twitter wants to be a liberal echo-chamber, that's fine with me.  As a free-market libertarian, I have no problem with them blocking whomever they want to block, to do business with whomever they want to do business with.  But, that ax swings both ways. 

I never used it, myself.I found the format to be generally unfriendly.  But, if people like it, that's okay with me too.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Climate Change

For those of you worried about climate change, the American Thinker offers an historical perspective.  I  recall, for instance, when the largest threat was glaciation.  We were all going to e ground to dust by ice.
1975 – “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind” Nigel Calder, editor, New Scientist magazine, in an article in International Wildlife Magazine
1976 – “Even U.S. farms may be hit by cooling trend” – U.S. News and World Report
Just this past week, I have run both the heater and the AC at alternate times.  Weather changes, that's what it does.  I'm not a denier, I'm just old enough to remember when they were predicting the exact opposite, based on the same "settled" science.

Posse Comitatus

Thanksgiving is past, and we turn our attention tot he world around us, specifically to the southern border, where our military is deployed as part of the federal response to the (illegal) migrant caravan.

Belle asked the other day, what the military was doing down there, and I told her that the soldiers are basically providing support tot he civil authority.  She asked, basically, if the military could "repel invaders" and I told her that it's more complicated than that, and that the military is bound by something called the Posse Comitatus Act, a federal law passed in just after Reconstruction that basically forbids the US Military from enforcing civil law within the boundaries of the US.

It's something that military officers learn about, and it's something I had to pay attention to during Desert Storm.  During that operation, I was federalized and found myself running the day-to-day law enforcement at Fort Polk, LA.  Coming from a civil law enforcement background, and being trained as a Military Police officer, I had to pay attention to the difference.  As an MP, I couldn't arrest civilians except under very limited and prescribed conditions.

Posse Comitatus protects the rights, privileges and immunities of US citizens from interference by the military.  This is generally a good thing, and the officers on the southern border are paying attention to it. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Outlaws and Gunslingers

I'm going to leave this here so that I can find it later.  Don't have time to watch it right now.

We'll come back to this later.  Some of you might like to watch it this weekend.


A good friend donated a Turduckhen to the Thanksgiving festivities, and I had never cooked one.  But a Cajun is  nothing if not fearless when it comes to cooking, so I gave it a whirl.  Simple enough, you set the oven to 375 and let it cook covered for three hours, then uncover for the final hour.

A turduckhen is a boneless hen, stuffed inside a boneless duck, stuffed inside a boneless turkey.  Seasoned well in the bag, It's kind of a poultry meatloaf, and the one that was given to me weighed 10 lbs.  And, it's all meat.  When it comes out of the oven, you let it rest for a half-hour, then slice it like a meatloaf.

We fed 22 people yesterday,   The turduckhen was accompanied by all the Thanksgiving classics.  Cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, sweet pea salad,  sweet potato pie, home-baked yeast rolls, and a variety of cakes ad pies.

This is half of the reason that Belle and I built the shop.  We have a large family, and lots of friends and acquaintances.  The house isn't big enough for a gathering like this, and we love gathering like this  The grandkids are getting older and they want to bring friends, and we built a kitchen to serve a large crew.  As an aside, we didn't reach capacity.  I've been buying folding tables as we go along and there was one folding table yesterday that did not get unfolded.

Today, Belle and I are going to kick-back, take a break, and piddle around the house.  I have an errand to run later, then we're meeting a couple for supper at a local Mexican restaurant.  Tomorrow, I'm making a gumbo from the leftover turduchen and hosting the club for an afternoon practice.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Those "Survive Thanksgiving" Articles

In the lull between timed events, I'm surfing around for amusement, ad I come to one of those articles about how to survive Thanksgiving with leftists.  Heh!  I don't think I'll be feeding any today, but here's my take on it.

Have a Designated Safe Space Ready
Every place at my home is safe, and I"ll guarantee your physical safety, but don't come in here with any half-baked ideas.  The rule in my family is that if you come in as emotionally fragile, you're probably going to leave emotionally crippled.  We don't suffer fools.  Your ideas are welcome, but be prepared to defend them with logic and reason.

Emergency Vegan Meal
If you're coming here expecting some special dietary menu, you'd best bring it with you.  We're carnivores ad today we're eating poultry.    And lots of it.  Turkey, chicken, duck.  If someone is poultry averse, I might warm up some ham, or maybe some pork loin, but it's all meat, all the time.

Anti-Socialism Plan
You'll be ridiculed and mocked if you bring that shit up/  Can you say Venezuela?  We'll do it lovingly and gently, of course but ridiculed and mocked, nonetheless.

Anti-Capitalism Plan
Aah, the evils of capitalism, yet everything you wear was bought at a store?  The very chair you sit in the plate you're eating from and the food in your mouth was provided by capitalism.  Remember the first topic?  If you come in here mentally ignorant, you may leave emotionally crippled.

Practicing Gun Control
At our gathering today, there will probably be four or five people carrying, split evenly between the genders.  We're not shooting you are we?   That is what we call gun control.  Oh, you're afraid of guns?  No problem, after lunch we'll hold a quick safety class the start teaching you that inanimate objects only work with human manipulation.  We practice gun control every day, and no one has been hurt yet.

But, all that aside, the truth is that no one wants to spoil the holiday by talking about politics.  We're going to have fun, love everyone who comes in the door, and try to make sure that everyone is properly cared for.  Today is a day for thankfulness and camaraderie.    Y'all have a blessed day.

Happy Tnaksgiving

We should give thanks, and I give thanks for lots of things.  My wife, the blessings that God has bestowed upon me, my home, ad family.  I'm thankful for my friends and all the unsung people who make my community and country the best place in the world to call home.

If you'll excuse me, I have to get busy.

More later.  Y'all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Opportunity, Burden and Privilege

This guy, in the last 30 seconds of the video talks about what is so humbling when you serve as a commander of troops.

"As an officer, you have the opportunity, the burden and privilege to look a young man in the eye and ask him to go do something, and they know in all likelihood what you're asking them to do means they're not coming back.  And these American soldiers look you in the eye and they wink, and say "Got it, sir," and they grab their weapon and off they go.  And that is such a privilege, to wear that uniform and to be the Old Man, at the age of 23 or 24, and there is nothing in life that compares to that responsibility."

This guy gets it  Command is the ultimate privilege.  He says that he considers himself a visitor among heroes.

Cooking tomorrow.

It's Thanksgiving and as usual, I'm cooking tomorrow.  We divided up the side dishes and every kid is bringing something, and I'm on the hook for the bird.  No problem.  We invited a recent widower, a great friend of the family, and he donated a turducken, which is a turkey, stuffed with a duck and a hen.  It has some kind of dressing in there, and I'll put it in the oven tomorrow morning.  I've never cooked a turducken, but the instructions are pretty easy.  Bake it at 350 for four hours,   The last hour take the "tent" off to let it brown.  We'll use a meat thermometer to make sure it's done before carving

He also donated two stuffed hens.  I was looking at them earlier, and they are boneless hens, stuffed with a jalapeno baked potato.  Sounds spicy!  I recon I'll crank up the smoker in the morning and put those birds in there.  Let 'em smoke for several hours, until they get limp.

It's going to be great and the clan is going to show up here  for the noon meal.    Belle and I are taking off Friday, lounging around and being worthless.  Maybe there will be enough leftovers to keep us sustained.  Saturday, I'm cooking a gumbo for the club  We'll shoot in the afternoon the have some fellowship.

Y'all have a great Thanksgiving.

Late Lunch

After doing what I had to do, and what I needed to do today, about 2:30, I was getting peckish, so I went to the fridge to see what was available.  Found some pork loin that I had cooked Monday, so I sliced it and put it on the griddle with a little bacon grease to keep everything lubricated.  Then, when it was getting happy on the griddle, I drizzled a little barbecue sauce on it to add some piquant. 

It isn't ham and eggs, and it isn't bacon and eggs, but it went down good, ad I don't see any cabs on that griddle. 

More On Car Batteries

Jonathan says in comments:
I've heard that some cars have the battery under the back seat or in the trunk - not where I'd think to look.
The old Volkswagen Beetle had the battery under the back seat.  It was a snap to change, really easier than you might think.  Push the driver's seat forward,  fold it down, and lift the back seat.    There's the battery, easy-peasy.

I recently helped a friend with some kind of Chrysler POS that had the battery under the engine in the wheel well.  Obviously designed by an engineer who had never turned a wrench, or planned to quit Chrysler and was giving a big F-U to all the guys would would have to turn wrenches on the vehicle.

I don't know what the engineers are thinking sometimes.

Back in the day, some vehicles used to be a positive ground circuit.  That's right, the positive side of the battery grounded to the frame, and everything ran off the negative cable.  Those things would make you throw your hat in the creek.

A Warning to Socialists

If you want to see the basic, end-result of socialism, perfectly applied, we need look no further than Venezuela..  Venezuela is going down the tubes, descending into utter chaos. 

Do we need to intervene?  No, hell no.  The people of Venezuela need to sort this out themselves.  If we do anything, we'll only make Maduro a martyr.  This is up to them, and frankly the sooner they hang this sobofabitch and all his lackeys, the sooner they can start rebuilding their lives.

I'll bet that his Army will abandon him as soon as they can.

Putting In A Battery

We got up this morning and Belle's car was dead as a hammer.    With all the electronics on a vehicle these days, when the battery goes tits-up, it's a disaster.  We could't even use the fob to open the door, and the key is hidden i the fob.  We finally Googled how to get into the car so I could get the hood open.

Then I had to find the battery.  It's hidden under there, way back against the firewall.  Can't even see the negative terminal.  She took my car to work,  and I began the process of taking the old battery out so that I could install a new one.  Had to take the air box out to access the battery hold-down, then slid the battery forward enough to get to the positive terminal.  Cussed a little, then slid the battery out enough to get to the negative terminal.  Cussed a little more.

Went to the parts store, got a new battery.  Came home and reversed the process, muttering mightily at the design engineers who can't put a battery where you can get to it.  But it's done now, and the car starts o command.  She'll have to re-set all her pre-sets, but that's on her.For the record, she drives a Ford Edge Titanium and it has ALL the bells and whistles.

I"m not one of those guys who tells his lady what to drive.  I've hound that to be a bad idea.  Belle makes good money (better than I make) and she pays her own car note.  She likes bells ad whistles, and that's okay with me.  But, Lawd, when it dies, it dies quick, fast, ad in a hurry.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Only in Louisiana

The sign over the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, reminding people to use their blinker.

The causeway connects Mandeville, LA on the north shore with New Orleans on the southern shore.  The causeway is 23.8 miles long.  Back in the day, barges used to slam into it, knocking it into the water, although we only hear about that infrequently now.  However it still causes one helluva mess.

A Very Bad Day

Came home this morning from running errands, and found a State Trooper conducting a traffic stop in the road beside the house.  I watched for a while to make sure that the trooper was okay, then went inside.  It appeared that some redneck had violated one or more of the Louisiana Revised Statutes. 

I went inside to do check email, ten about 30 minutes later head the beep-beep-beep of a backup alarm.  Went back outside and saw this:

Yeah, the truck is getting towed.  The trooper was still sitting just out of frame at camera right.  Somebody is having a very bad day.  I didn't recognize the redneck, so I can't identify him.  Just another day in the life of a State Trooper.  From what I know about the traffic laws, I'd bet that there wasn't any insurance on that pickup.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Monday Project

A project that Belle had been lobbying for, a pathway from the bath house to the gate to the barn.  I've been meaning to do this for a while, but with winter approaching and two grandsons spending the night, I decided it was tie.

Rolled into Lowe's at 8:00 and we  finished before 11:00.  Not bad for a morning's work, and we finished in the rain.  We laid ground cloth, staked it in, added landscape timers for edging and staked them in, then laid down stepping-stones, and graveled the whole thing.  I could actually use another yard of gravel, but it's raining.  We'll get to that later.

That's not a bad morning's work.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

New Lawnmower

My old Craftsman lawn tractor has been showing it's age for a while, but I kept limping it along during this season.  I'm loath to spend money on a lawn mower., even thought in semi-tropical Louisiana, the mowing season is 8 months long.

Today, my sons presented me with a new (to me) lawn mower, ad I admit that it has a learning curve.  Second son has built a nice little part-time business buying used zero-turn mowers and refurbishing them.  He's learned the hydraulics, and he's always been a good small-engine wrench.

Elder son was using this one, but it really didn't suit his purposes, so he passed it on to me.  It's slow, but it's faster than the old Craftsman lawn tractor.

It's an old Cub Cadet zero-turn.  It's powered by a big Briggs, ad the boys have gone through it to make sure that everything works.  It needed a new battery and I put one in this afternoon then mowed the front yard with it.  It's going to take me some time to learn to do ditches, but once I figure out how to mow a straight line and a gentle curve, the ditches shouldn't be much problem at all.

Thanks, boys.  The old man appreciates it.

Those Little Acorns

Joe wanted to know how big those little acorns are.  While I didn't do a scientific mass measurement, I'll admit that they are small, about a 1/2 inch sphere.  Here's one sitting on a common dime.

That's a mall acorn.  Now it's time to go outside, turn on the shop and start browning meat.  We're having taco soup for lunch and I want everything to simmer for a couple of hours before lunch.

Y'all have a blessed Sunday, and we'll talk later.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Picking Acorns

Eaton Rapids Joe wants acorns from a water oak tree, and I happen to have one inn my front yard.  This morning is pretty, so after the dew lifted, I went outside to see if I could find a few acorns.  Yep, they're everywhere.  So, I got down on all fours and started picking acorns out of the grass.  After just a little while I decided that it was better to get down on my belly ad pick everything in a small area, then scoot over a foot and do it again.

So, anyway, I'm laying on my belly under that tree, sifting little tiny acorns out of the grass, and I hear someone holler at me from the road.  "Are you okay?"

"Yep", I reply, "I'm fine."  I get up off my belly, and dust off.  "I'm collecting acorns for a friend"

This guy is a neighbor, lives down the road, and he thought I had had a stroke or something.  So, I explained to him that Michigan needs acorns from a water oak tree.  We visited for a few minutes ad he went on with his morning, and I went on collecting acorns.  In another half-hour, vertigo had gotten the best of me, so I decided to call a halt for the time being.

Three pounds of water oak acorns fills just about half of a gallon zipper bag.  In case anyone needs to know that.  I don't know how many acorns are in that bag, ad   I may finish filling the bag, or I may not, or I may press grandkids into service when the come over this week.

Send me an address, Joe.  You have my email..  In another few days, those acorns will be on the way.

Friday, November 16, 2018

White Women Trying To Look Black

A friend and I were discussing this earlier this week, ad I started to post on it.  Rachel Dolezal, for  example.  A woman who is white, trying to be black, or Indian (our lily-white senator from Massachusetts, for example).  There seems to be some cachet these days to be anything but white.  And I don't understand it. 

I thought that perhaps my own perceptions were seeing something that wasn't really there.  But, evidently, I"m not the only one who is noticing it.  Ann Althouse, for example.
"In a trend that is not new or surprising, white women seem to be adopting the features of black women on social media in their quest..." "... to develop themselves as models and influencers. 
I remember a time when light-skinned black women would attempt to pass themselves as white, assuming that some sort of advantage would flow from it.  I don't know.   The whole thing confuses me, mainly because we're supposed to be i post-racial America, the great melting-pot of the world, and rankly I don't care what color anyone is.  At this stage of my education, I tend to judge people, but I judge them more by the content of their character than by the color of their skin.  I just don't care  what color someone might be.

I'm not sure if that education came from my time in Natchitoches, which has a vibrant, Creole community, and I had friends and associates of every hue, or if it came from my time in the Army, where I depended on every color and gender of soldier, and the only thing that mattered was professionalism and performance..

The whole thing confuses the crap out of me, and it's Friday ad time for my afternoon whiskey.

Whaddya Mean, Joe?

It seems that the election returns were submitted late from Broward County, FL, and the Secretary of State refused to accept them.  They were two minutes late, but they missed the deadline.
The secretary of state's office did not accept the new numbers and so, after days of painstaking work, Broward's count Thursday remained the same as it was on Saturday, when it submitted its initial unofficial election results.
 "Basically, I just worked my ass off for nothing," said Joe D'Alessandro, the director of elections for Broward County.
We can take two meanings from that, Joe.  Did you mean that the work you did was rejected?  Or did you mean that you failed to to flip the election to a Democrat?

In other news, the Democrat candidate in Georgia wants a do-over.  The election was ten days ago, and we're still counting votes?  That doesn't make any sense at all.

Thursday, November 15, 2018


Swatting is the recent mischief of placing a hoax call to police, telling them that an horrific crime is being committed, and then watching the mayhem from another location.  It's a despicable act, placing both the police and the people at the called-in address in great danger.

As a cop, when you respond to one of these call and "go in hot",  adrenaline pumping, hopefully someone is able to figure out quickly that it was a hoax call and no one gets hurt.    But, sometimes things go horribly wrong.  Like in this case in Witchita KS.
Most of the time, the police respond and figure out that nothing was going on before anyone gets hurt, but it doesn’t always happen that way.
Now, a man responsible for a fatal swatting call has pled guilty to 51 charges stemming from his actions.
Fifty-one charges?  That prosecutor was busy in the books.  I can think of a half-dozen charges I could cite for making a prank call that resulted in a death, but 51?  And as a part of a plea deal, I wonder how many charges they dropped?
 Prosecuting U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister told The Wichita Eagle he will recommend that Barriss be sentenced to 20 years in prison, providing he writes apology letters to police, dispatchers and the family of Andrew Finch, a 28-year-old father of two who was shot by police who responded to the hoax call in December.
Twenty years is a long time.  He'll get lots of time to think about the consequences of his actions.

Season's Change

We had the first frost of the season this morning, with temps in the high 20s.  One small now flurry yesterday, which is unheard of in central Louisiana in mid-November.  The season's are changing, and I've even put the liner in my duty jacket, which doesn't normally happen till after Christmas.

One other change, is that I've switched from my summer vodka/tonic to my winter bourbon and coke. Y'all know that I love whiskey, but believe in moderation in all things, except loving a good woman, which should be done enthusiastically.

My to-to, day-in-and-day-out whiskey for mixing with coke (or diet coke, in my case), is either Jim Beam white or Evan Williams, whichever strikes my fancy at the time.  But I buy it in the transmission size.  You know, the big bottle.  When you turn it on its side, it looks like a transmission.

When I was a young'un, whiskey came in several sizes.  half-pints, pints, fifths, and half-gallons.  Those were good, imperial measurements that everyone understood.    I haven't seen a pint of whiskey in a while, and I imagine that they're still available.  The last time I saw a pint of whiskey, the counter-guy at an old country store kept a case of pints of cheap gin under the counter to sell to the winos who wanted to mix gin with grapefruit juice.  He sold a lot of Tex-Sun grapefruit juice out of that store.  But I digress.

I still buy my good sipping whiskey in the smaller 750 ml bottles, but my mixing hooch is bought in the larger bottles.  I understand those larger bottles are 175 cl, whatever in the hell that means. (I know that it means 0.46 of a gallon, which ain't a half, and we're getting screwed, but that's the world we live in.